1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Within Microsoft I have been given the role as a Project Administrator, this involves helping our project managers with any administration tasks and also setting up codes for them to bill their time too.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
At Microsoft there is always opportunities to learn, we have regular meetings/lessons called 'Work Smart' where we learn new skills about the programs we work with in order for us to become more efficient. As well as the many opportunities to learn internally we also have the direct training through our apprenticeship programme with QA.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love being a Microsoft apprentice, it has definitely been the best decision I made. I feel a lot more valued at Microsoft than I ever thought I would and given a lot of responsibility within my team.
4. How valued do you feel by Microsoft?
I feel a lot more valued than I thought I would when joining Microsoft as an apprentice. I also enjoy the fact I don't do any of the typical apprentice jobs like faxing, making cups of tea etc. I am treated like a full time employee and treated no different based on my age.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of our apprenticeship programme has been made clear from the start, due to us being the first intake of Microsoft apprentices, what will happen after our apprenticeship is still being discussed. I feel as though the programme is running well for everyone and the university staffing team are very open for our feedback in order to improve for next year.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Our apprenticeship programme is run with QA who gave us all a personal tutor for the whole 18 months. Julie is always really helpful and easily accessible at any time of the day - she is a great support to get us through the programme and always willing to help.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support network in Microsoft is one of my favourite parts about working here. Everyone is willing to spare half hour or more to help you - especially when they know you're an apprentice. This is great as it helps us all get a better understanding of the business as a whole. You also get massive amounts of support from your team and manager at Microsoft, I have regular meetings with my team and manager in order to review my performance and progression.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary we get given at Microsoft is considerably more than most apprenticeships. I along with five others have been fortunate enough to be able to afford a house together in the centre of Reading - not many 18 year olds have their own house. The salary covers both our living and social costs comfortably.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The apprentice and intern community at Microsoft allows a positive social life for everyone - especially for those like myself who have moved away from home for the apprenticeship. As well as the social side Microsoft hold many events outside of work for all employees, Christmas parties, company conferences, off site events etc.
9. Would you recommend Microsoft to a friend?
Microsoft is a very relaxed company to work for and allows for everyone to be themselves, with the hundreds of different roles available at Microsoft there is always something for everybody. The Microsoft community makes going to work a pleasure and I can honestly say I don't know anybody who doesn't like their job.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Microsoft?
I would just focus on being yourself and not putting to much pressure on yourself - they aren't expecting everyone to be a genius, they know the capabilities of people ages between 16-24. As long as you're eager to learn and develop, Microsoft will be more than willing to give you a chance.
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